There has been a lot of misinformation out there about the reason for the closure of the Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino. More specifically, Senate President Francisco M. Borja (R-Tinian) has been criticized and subjected to criticisms as being the cause of the closure. Nothing can be farther from the truth. So that we can provide further clarification, let us look at some chain of events as per a press release dated Sept. 7, 2015 that was issued by the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission:
After Tinian Dynasty Casino was raided on April 25, 2013, Mega Stars and Chan came to the TCGCC expressing their desire to invest in the Dynasty. Mega Stars and Chan were told up front that “before they invest in the Dynasty, they must comply with the Gaming Act, they must submit an application for a casino license, they must be found suitable, they must pay required fees and then, only if they meet suitability requirements under the Gaming Act will they be allowed to invest and participate in the casino industry.”
Mega Stars and Chan took over Hong Kong Entertainment where Chan became the president and chairman of HKE.
From July 2013 until April 30, 2014, “Chan refused to submit the needed applications and refused to cooperate.” Mega Stars and Chan submitted an acceptable application on June 2, 2014, but “their application was not complete.”
In the latter part of 2014, the TCGCC learned of the involvement of Chinese Strategic Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries including Tinian Entertainment Company. The TCGCC asked these companies to submit their casino license applications.
In February 2015, Chan informed the TCGCC that “he does not wish to proceed.”
After being accommodated by the TCGCC, these new companies finally submitted their applications in February 2015. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Chinese Strategic Holdings Limited, Tinian Entertainment Company, and Hong Kong Entertainment that requires that the applicants “pay the license application fees, submit any additional documents or information needed, and then the commission will expedite their application and suitability review process.”
All these chain of events along with the largest FinCEN fine ever imposed on a casino led to the closure of the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino. It was not Senate President Francisco M. Borja’s decision to vote for the Saipan casino that led to the closure. Instead, Borja’s foresight based on his experience and longstanding role as an elected official led him to the decision to vote for the legislation establishing the Saipan casino.
As a result of the passage of the Saipan casino legislation, retiree pensions have been funded, payments for CUC for PSS and CHC are being funded, the government’s overall budget has gone up, especially the municipality of Tinian & Aguiguan with some government departments seeing as much as a 50-percent increase.
People of Tinian and to all on-island and absentee voters of Tinian (Precinct 6), Borja has the years of experience as a former police officer, a former mayor of Tinian, and a long time senator to have the foresight to consider our current economic situation and make a decision, no matter how controversial it may be, to protect our interests.